Legal Regulation, Ethical Standard-Setting, and Institutional Design

Charles Sampford and Christine Parker

in Legal Ethics and Legal Practice

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780198259459
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681950 | DOI:
Legal Regulation, Ethical Standard-Setting, and Institutional Design

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This chapter presents a philosophical discussion of a multi-faceted approach to legal ethics. It raises a number of basic questions about the place of legal ethics in influencing the behaviour of lawyers and law firms, suggests some answers, proposes a framework by which we may seek answers, and identifies the core of potentially conflicting answers. The following questions are addressed: Why is there so much interest in, and apparent commitment to, legal, professional, and business ethics during the 1990s? Is it good tactics, good business, or is it something more? What form should legal ethics take? Should it be an enforceable code, an aspirational code, the positive morality of lawyers, or a form of critical morality? What role should legal ethics play? Should legal ethics be expected to operate independently or must it operate in conjunction with other measures to improve the conduct of lawyers, including legal regulation and institutional design? What values might legal practice serve?

Keywords: legal ethics; legal practice; lawyers; law firms; enforceable code

Chapter.  6659 words. 

Subjects: Legal System and Practice

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